Teamwork among operators in the various segments of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is the only viable way to resolve the challenges facing the sector, the Managing Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Christopher Ezeafulukwe, has said.
Ezeafulukwe who spoke in Abuja at the biennial joint generation, operations and distribution planning meeting said the sector can only grow when the various segments work together in unity.
While there have been improvements since the power sector was partially privatised more than ten years ago, the AEDC MD said a lot of work was still required to meet the target objectives of the sector.
The sector, he noted, has been plagued by issues of sustainability in policies and operations, adding that the biggest question confronting the players in the sector today was how the operators can collectively ensure adequate and reliable supply of electricity to their valued customers despite challenges.
To overcome the mistrust of the public in the sector players, Ezeafulukwe said operators would need to work together as a team across the value chain.
“A team means a group of people who work together towards achieving a common purpose or goal. And our common goal is to ensure that we collectively and sustainably give electricity supply to the customers,” he explained.
Describing all operators equally as customers, Ezeafulukwe said whether as producer, transmission or distributor of the product none are in the kind of business where people sell things they don’t use.
This, he said, was the reason all operators need to work together as a team to make the system work to deliver value to the consumers.
He urged players in the power supply value chain to take a holistic view of the industry and come up with sustainable plans on how to improve the performance in the sector.
While admitting that there were issues in the sector that needed to be addressed, the AEDC boss stressed that these issues should be addressed with focus on the bigger picture.
He said AEDC remains committed to delivering better services to its customers, saying the distribution company was restrategising and refocusing on improving electricity supply to its customers throughout it’s franchise areas of FCT and environs
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the meeting, the General Manager, Transmission Service Provider, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Ajiboye Oluwagbenga disclosed that transmission capacity has improved in recent times to 8,500 megawatts (MW).
Oluwagbenga assured that TCN currently has the capacity to evacuate every quantum of electricity produced by power generation companies in the country.
“We have demonstrated in practical terms through simulations that TCN can conveniently wheel 8,500MW. But up till now, the power generation coming to the national grid is always revolving around 4,000MW,” he said.
Also speaking, the Senior Manager, Plant Performance, Omotosho (Gas) Power Plant, Onyekachi Nwosu, urged the government to tackle the issue of gas supply to the power plants, which he said was the biggest challenge facing the industry.
“There should be more investment in gas supply infrastructure to guarantee supply to power generation companies in the country. In our sector, 95 percent of the power plants are thermal, meaning they use gas. And the challenge has been getting adequate supply of gas to power the plants.
“The next challenge is the issue of the networks both at the transmission and distribution ends. The networks are fragile and that is the importance of this meeting. We are here to plan and ensure that we manage what we have and to ensure that services to consumers are improved on,” he said.